Former President Park Geun-hye, who is on trial for a string of corruption charges, refused to take the witness stand Wednesday at the trial of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.
It was the third time that she was asked to attend Lee’s trial by Special Counsel Park Young-soo who looked into a massive corruption scandal that led to Park’s removal from office and arrest.
The Samsung heir is accused of bribing Park and her friend Choi Soon-sil, also on trial, in exchange for the Park administration’s support of a merger of two Samsung affiliates that would help him take control of the group from his ailing father, Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee. Both Lee Jae-yong and the former president deny the charges.
“We attempted to execute the warrant to take her to the court, but she refused the order by submitting a document citing health reasons,” the counsel team said.
Park missed three out of four court hearings of her own trial last week, citing pain in one of her toes. Her lawyers have repeatedly complained that the trial schedule is too harsh for the former leader who they described as a “weak, old woman.”
Court proceedings for Samsung’s Lee is to end without Park’s testimony in the courtroom, with the last hearing scheduled for Aug. 4. The prosecution is set to make a sentence demand that day.
By Ock Hyun-ju (email@example.com)